Tips for Leading a Team Full of Creativity and Innovation
With every single company from startups to established brands looking for creativity and innovation I think it’s equally important to look for leaders. Not just any leader, but someone who can harness the inherent passion in creative people to innovate things into concrete results and revenue. It’s your job as manager to make sure that the whole creative process of your team isn’t hampered by drive for profit and at the same time keep the creative people happy with the results. Talk about a high-wire balancing act.
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” — Edward de Bono
So how do you perform this balancing act? Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Expect to do a lot of conflict resolution, and do it well.
Right off the bat, I have something that has a lot of managers shying away. How you handle conflict resolution can either make your team trust you or disregard your authority. You need to be aware of your team’s personalities. Figure out which approach works with each member. One guy might take one approach badly while another doesn’t mind. Make sure that your team knows you are dependable when resolving issues and differences. Creativity and innovation thrive even in the worst conflicts and it’s your job to make sure these two are what emerges from the resolution.
2. Hire people on more than their resume.
I like to understand people beyond the surface level. Even if you have an extensive, detailed resume in your hands, you only know the person at face value. You can’t know if someone is full of creativity just from their CV. What’s more, the right mix of people on your team is very important. Your current members should become part of the hiring process, since they’ll be the ones working closely with the new team member. I also think that the hiring process is something that happens over time. (Here is an article on 10 profiles you should hire)
3. Set up a culture where creativity and innovation can flourish.
Office environment plays a huge role in promoting creativity and innovation. You need your workspace to be conducive to individuality but at the same time invite collaboration. This means that knowledge sharing should be a big part of your team, but at the same time a way for your members to be recognized. Set up a room where they can ‘freestyle’ and bounce ideas off each other without judgment. You want people to be original but at the same time contribute to a team effort. How do you do this? Give concrete rewards and acknowledgement to people who deserve it. Share gifts with your team, and give the best ones to people you know put in extra effort.
4. Eat, sleep, live and breathe your high standards.
I don’t want to go around telling my team about my high standards and the principles I adhere to everyday. What I do want is for them to know what I expect of them and let them see I expect the same things of myself. Keep your expectations clear and show your team you support them unconditionally. Creativity and innovation aren’t confined to the office; they’re part of your personality.
5. Your team should work with you and not for you.
Genuine leadership is about being the glue that sticks your team together. You have the power to say who is an expert on what and keep people secure in their positions. You also have the power to say when someone should ask help. Establish a solid organizational structure that gives people clear guidelines where they stand and that you are there to guide them through their work. Creativity and innovation happen when experts come together under a common goal with the best guidance; and that’s where you come in for creative empowerment.
In the end, if you are an authentic and effective leader if you perform the balancing act of creating and executing like a dance. You know who you’re dancing with, you know when to step left or step right, when to lead and when to just let go and let the process unfold.
3 Take-aways :
1 – Each member has its own personality and figure out which approach works for each of them.
2 – Keep your expectations clear and show your team you support them unconditionally.
3 – Your team should work with you and not for you.
Please share this insight to inspire people to work with more passion and lead with creativity. It’s free like this ad free article. Thank you